Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Reaching Rock Bottom and Climbing Up Again

It happened 23 days ago. I had had pasta and cake. My head swam and I knew I had to do something or I would regain all the weight I'd lost over the last year. I had done well in a way but I was plateauing and my waist was starting expand again. This was despite doing 50 minutes of  exercising per day, following along to a dvd.  Rock bottom had been reached, one of those deciding moments when you know that your life can go two ways.
 It was time I decided to bite the bullet and try The Tracy Anderson Method.
The Tracy Anderson Method was developed by Gwyneth Paltrow's trainer who claims that she can transform any woman if she is willing to sweat. It involves 2 hours of exercise a day including dance cardio and a restrictive diet but one which has high marks for vegetables and fruit. I'd looked at it before and decided it was not for me. Despite enjoying dancing at the Harlequin party, I am not a big fan of dance cardio. The humiliation of always being the one out of step in various dance classes lingers. I was very much you can ask me to do anything but don't ask me to do dance cardio in pursuit of losing weight.
That day I decided to face my fears..for 30 days. Even I could do dance cardio for 30 days.
I sent off for the book The Tracy Anderson Method 30 Day Boot Camp from Amazon. It arrived the next day, along with its dvd. One of the first things I read was if you start this programme tomorrow, in a month's time you will have a changed body. And then the only fairy dust I can give you is sweat. Sweat, I decided I could give...even if I had to do dance cardio. Besides the only creatures I might frighten were the dogs.
I sweated in bucket loads. My daughter commented several times that I looked like I had a shower with my clothes on. I ignored her. Despite my two left feet, I have been mastering the dance cardio and can now do 60 minutes vigorous exercise, plus all the mat work (about an 60 minutes). The food while not plentiful has filled me up and I have rediscovered how much I do enjoy salads and fresh fruit. The emphasis is on fresh, easy to prepare foods. On the whole the recipes are very good. I have become a confirmed herbal tea drinker.
Best of all I have lost 18 lbs and am now just within the healthy BMI range (because of this I am foregoing the 5 day detox at the end -- the thought of pureed corn and sweet potato makes my stomach churn). I have also had lost something like 19 inches, including 4 inches from each thigh.  The net result is that I can fit into clothes I wore in my early twenties before I had children. Equally my lymph oedema in my left arm which nothing has touched is severely reduced. My energy levels have really climbed and I feel so much more awake.   And I have gone from a skeptic about Tracy Anderson to a whole hearted believer. The woman can work miracles.
I had had low expectations of the experience and have been utterly astonished by the success. Things like this don't happen to me. I had been struggling for ages to lose weight and had despaired about getting down to a healthy BMI. And while I had lost a significant bit last year, nothing much had happened this year.  I stubbornly stayed around 170. I tried to tell myself that it was because I discovered various exercise dvds like Jillian Micheals and had really increased my muscles. as certainly my inches went down. I had sort of thought that I was destined to be larger than I wanted to be. Middle age spread and low metabolism. Now I know that was not the case.
In the short term, I am going to finish the boot camp. I have about 15 lbs more that I want to lose. In the longer term, I am waiting for her metamorphosis (4 dvd 90 day programme of exercise)  to arrive so I can go on to that programme.  She has found a way to target the accessory muscles, rather than the large muscles groups and pulls things in. And dance cardio is hard work but fun.(Colour me astonished here) She claims that if you do the exercise, you can keep your figure. She has done it for over 13 years.
So if anyone needs to shape up quickly, you could investigate Tracy Anderson and her Method. Jillian Michaels is also good but as I said you tend to lose inches rather than the weight.  I know Donna Alward has had great success with PX 90. Not every trainer is right for every person, so it is worth taking the time to investigate. And sometimes, facing your fear like I did with dance cardio can really reap rewards...

Michelle Styles writes warm, witty and intimate historical romance for Harlequin. Her latest book To Marry A Matchmaker was out in the UK in July (remains available as an e-book) and is currently out in Australia and New Zealand. You can read more about Michelle's books on her website at


Anne McAllister said...

Sooo impressed, Michelle! Good for you. I wonder if it would give me a heart attack if I did it? Might be worth a try, she said, taking her left foot out of her ear (you aren't the only one seriously dance-challenged!)

marybelle said...

I think I will stick to my long walks through the park thank you. Good luck!!

Michele L. said...

Way to go Michelle! I do like to exercise but don't ever have time anymore. I take care of my elderly mother who takes up a lot of my time. I have gained so much weight it isn't funny.

Kandy Shepherd said...

I'm very tempted to try this, Michelle! I seem to put on weight by the week at the moment...